Showing posts from November, 2015

Silent Nights

Silent Nights Edited by Martin Edwards, ebook release 2015 New Release! I received an electronic copy of this book from NetGalley for the purpose of review. Crossposted from Mainlining Christmas Premise: Another collection of Christmas Mystery stories, this one from the British Library Crime Classics series. Fifteen tales of murder and thievery at the holidays. I know, you'd think I would be sick of short mysteries after last year's lengthy read of the Big Book of Christmas Mysteries. However, in this book I discovered a well-balanced selection that was of overall enjoyable. I think I may be giving extra credit for being of a manageable length, though. Here's what you'll find, with stories that I've read previously noted: The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle (repeat) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle A classic, I would never fault anyone for adding this to a Christmas compilation. It remains charming on whatever number re-read this is. Parlour Tricks

Bitch Planet: Extraordinary Machine (Volume One)

Bitch Planet: Extraordinary Machine (Volume One) Kelly Sue Deconnick, Valentine De Landro, 2015 New Release! I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for the purpose of review. Premise: Collects Bitch Planet #1-5 . In a near future world, society is run by the Fathers. Women who don’t abide by the rules - aren’t thin enough, pretty enough, submissive enough, compliant enough - are sent to the Auxiliary Compliance Outpost, a prison in space better known as… Bitch Planet. Oof. I didn’t expect anything less, but reading this book feels somewhere between a punch to the kidneys and the crawly feeling of an effective horror movie. Its masterful blend of tone and style evokes both exploitation filmmaking and old-time comic books and mixes them up into an updated space-age Handmaid’s Tale with a righteous, intersectional feminist rage. I shouldn’t have to say this, but this is for mature readers only. Lots of nudity, violence and language. The volume opens with a story that

Startide Rising (Uplift Series)

Startide Rising (Uplift Series) David Brin, 1983 Hugo Winner - 1984 Premise: Streaker is in trouble. The ship from Earth was only supposed to be doing some routine investigation of little-traveled star systems while the mostly-neofin crew gained in experience. They weren't supposed to find a lost fleet of unknown origin, then be chased by hostile galactic fleets who each want to be the sole recipient of whatever knowledge is there to be gained. Now the crew is hidden on an unknown planet, hoping to find a way to get through the massive space battle nearby and get home with their discoveries. Dolphins! In! SPAAAAACE! Yes, the book is a serious exploration of sentience and morality as well as an ensemble survival adventure. But seriously. I'm here for the space dolphins. There are a lot of interesting concepts here. There is a huge, complicated, mostly hostile galactic society based on the idea of Uplift. Uplift is racism, slavery/indentured service and colonialis

Sandman: Overture

Sandman: Overture Neil Gaiman, J. H. Williams III, Dave Stewart, 2015 New Release! I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for the purpose of review. Premise: At the start of Preludes and Nocturnes , Dream is imprisoned. What could have brought the Lord of the Dreaming so low as to be trapped by a minor occultist? The answers are held in this prequel volume. Wow. Wow, wow, wow, wow. This should have been terrible. It’s a prequel to one of the seminal graphic novel series of the modern era, written almost 20 years after the release of the last issue. The last stories Gaiman penned in this world (Endless Nights, in 2003) I found mediocre at best. This should have been a cash-grab with maybe a few redeeming qualities. But it was brilliant. It was brilliant both in that it was smart and complicated, and that it was hard to look too closely, the light might hurt your eyes. All of the Endless have wonderful moments here, and Desire particularly gets some intriguing

Foundation's Edge (Foundation Series, Book 4)

Foundation's Edge (Foundation Series, Book 4) Isaac Asimov, 1982 Hugo Award Winner - 1983 Premise: The Foundation has worked for five hundred years to ensure that an era of prosperity and relative peace will arise with a Second Galactic Empire in another five hundred years. The only threat to the technological supremacy of the Foundation were the telepaths of the Second Foundation, but they were defeated two hundred years earlier. Councilman Golan Trevize of the Foundation believes that the Second Foundation still exists. Speaker Stor Gendibal of the Second Foundation believes that some unknown force in the universe is also working toward shaping the future of the galaxy for its own ends. Once upon a time (about a decade back?) I read the first two (or three?) books in the Foundation series. I liked them, but never read the next one. I honestly can't remember why...maybe the second wasn't as good as the first? I was able to pick right up with this entry in th